Tours
Family of 6 downsize from a 2000 sq ft house to a shed to stay debt-free and close to nature
They opted to move when they realized just how much happier their kids were being outside.
Jaclyn Abergas
04.26.22

A lot of us want to enjoy our lives without a cloud of worry hanging over our heads. We worry so much about debt, inflation, safety, and toxic cultures that we forget to live our one life.

This family solved all of that when they decided to sell everything and move into a tiny house on a huge farm.

Beau and Kelly Brotherton had been living in the suburbs of Houston, Texas with their four children (and soon to be five). They were a typical family with a house of their own, hustling to move up the work ladder while they balance their family life and financial responsibilities.

In 2013, the Brotherton decided to prioritize their family’s health.

They began to eat cleaner, used essential oils, and removed toxic materials in their homes. But they wanted to do more. They wanted to live in a space that was big enough to grow their own food and give their young children space to grow.

“In the last… years, we’ve sold our house in the Houston suburbs to move to Central Texas. We took a shed and converted it into a home that we live in with our four children ages nine and under,” Kelly shared. “We went from 2,000 square feet to less than a thousand and gained seven acres.”

What solidified their move was the moment they realized that their children were very happy when they spent time outside.

“We just knew we wanted to start this adventure of finding land and growing our own food… We knew we need to find some kind of alternative different house to be able to live in,” Beau added. “I was just driving down the road and I saw this lot with these shed barns… I went to tour this lot and they actually finished them and that allowed us to see the possibility.”

Do you want to do the same thing they did?

One piece of advice Beau has is to make sure to do the prep work before you make the big move.

“We did not really have any problems with building codes [and] municipalities because we did the work before we bought the property. I was on the phone with the county [and] the city,” Beau explained. “For our county, it doesn’t have any building codes… how do you find that county? You’re just going to have to pick up the phone and start calling.”

They had two other reasons for their big move to sustainable community life. One is to live in a comfortable house. And two is to be debt-free in their 30s.

With their septic tank permit, building a larger deck for their house, and going on-grid, the costs can add up. But it’s really only at the start.

“Even after two years, we are spending less here in our converted shed than in our house in the suburbs,” Kelly stated.

So many people have been asking them about the process of how they made the big move. Looks like so many people have the same end goal, too.

That’s why the Brothertons started documenting the beginnings of their move up to the present times of living intentionally.

They have their own Facebook group, Shed to House, and their own YouTube channel and website at Better Together Life.

“If you could tick off every box, the shed to house just made sense. It was the decision that… shook us for a while. Are we really gonna live in a shed?” Kelly shared. “We kind of took the leap. And now it’s one of the best decisions we ever made.”

Do you want to see how they converted their shed into a lovely home for 6 people? Watch this video.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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